A Desktop Email Client vs. Cloud-Based Email. Choose the Best Solution to Use Across All Your Devices

desktop vs cloud

 

A Desktop Email Client: Pros and Cons

Everyone knows there’s been a never-ending dilemma about whether to choose “a desktop email client vs. web-based email,” so let’s explore the pros and cons of desktop email programs to see why people stick with them for years.

Pros:

  • You can track multiple email accounts all in one place, without signing in and signing out of accounts
  • A desktop email client is not dependant on Internet connectivity and bandwidth
  • With a desktop email client, you can access pre-downloaded emails offline
  • If you track multiple email accounts, replying to a message puts the proper From: email address on it automatically
  • You can back up your mail database as often as you wish and store it in place you wish, e.g. your hard drive
  • You don’t have to pay for cloud storage to back up and store large email database files
  • With a good desktop email client, you’ll have a broader scope of features and settings than with Webmail
  • You will be focused on emails rather than on websites under browser tabs

Cons:

  • You are tied to an OS such as Windows, Linux or Mac
  • It might take some time to install and configure a desktop email client
  • Syncing between multiple computers and devices can be problematic
  • You might not want to keep your mail data on the computer you are using
  • For those who prefer simplicity, it can be a pain to learn how to use one more software program
  • It might not be worth installing a desktop email client in order to track one email account

As you see, there are both pros and cons of using a desktop email client. According to the About.com’s Readers Choice Awards 2012, the best Windows email clients suggested by the readers are Mozilla Thunderbird, MS Outlook, EmailTray, IncrediMail and The Bat! All these email programs offer a rich set of features and configurable settings which has accounted for thousands of users being devoted to these software products for years.

It surely takes much more time to install a desktop email client, fine-tune email rules and customize your email program’s look and feel according to your taste. The presence of customizable options in complicated email programs keeps heavy email users away from simpler yet less effective online solutions. If you prefer simplicity – you’ll probably have to sacrifice advanced functionality.

 

Cloud-Based Email: Pros and Cons

The most popular web-based email services are Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Hotmail and AOL. If you don’t need to manage multiple email accounts, Gmail is probably the best cloud-based email option for you. It provides 10GB of free hosted space for your emails, including attachments, and offers a number of configurable options.

The obvious drawbacks of free Webmail solutions are annoying ads occupying some part of the screen space and no guarantee that your mail database will always survive. For the large corporations that plan on moving to secure cloud-based email solutions, Hosted Microsoft Exchange might be a good way to go.

Pros:

  • No installation is required because cloud applications are rendered in the browser
  • With a web-based email client, you are not tied to any platform such as Windows, Linux or Mac
  • You can use a cloud-based email service across devices without worrying about conflicts and synchronization
  • Cloud applications are easier to update or are updated automatically by a provider
  • You can log in to your web-based email account from anywhere
  • You can keep all your email data off your computer

Cons:

  • Cloud-based email services rely upon the internet infrastructure for data transport and content rendering
  • Free Webmail puts contextual advertising next to the emails you read
  • You can only be signed in under one Gmail account at a time in one browser, so using an online service attached to another Google account is impossible
  • A cloud version of a popular software product will often provide fewer features than the desktop version
  • There is no guarantee that your free web-based account will always be accessible
  • It’s not very convenient to click through new browser tabs and switch back and forth
  • When you use a browser, you may feel tempted to browse the websites under the other tabs

For those who run one email account and don’t use it heavily, there is obviously no need to install a desktop email client; Webmail will cover their needs in most cases.

If you do have to manage multiple email accounts but prefer web-based email, you have two solutions available. First, you can create one primary Gmail account and have emails from the other email accounts forwarded to it. Another way is to open multiple browsers, each one dedicated to a specific email account. However this practice may end up in overloading your CPU.

 

Which Way Is Best For Me?

There is a wide-spread opinion stating that web-based email is great for personal email communications while a desktop email client is perfect for work, especially if you have to manage multiple email accounts. I’s true that professionals often tend to choose more complicated yet feature-rich solutions which offer a variety of options and an ability to track multiple email accounts and manage email contacts with ease.

If you run one email account and don’t need all those bells and whistles – choose Gmail, a popular Webmail service which offers many features similar to those in a good desktop email client, plus lots of cloud storage for free.

If you heavily depend on email in your daily work and run multiple email accounts – a good desktop email client like Mozilla Thunderbird, MS Outlook or EmailTray will cover your needs. Even if you use email occasionally – you may still want to try the EmailTray email client, as it is lightweight and easier-to-use when compared to the other desktop email programs. Plus EmailTray has a smart algorithm that sorts mail into 4 priority folders and synchronizes what it learns across devices. The good news is that EmailTray is free to use and is coupled with a free email app for Android. That means you will enjoy a similar interface across all your Windows-based and Android-based devices.

Spam Filtering vs. Email Prioritization: Two Different Approaches to Email Management

spam filtering vs email sorting and prioritization

We all know that email overload may result in loss of time, loss of productivity and unanswered email. To solve this problem, you may go for a good spam filter – in order to have bad emails separated from all the mail you’ve received. Or you can choose an opposite direction, and apply an email prioritization technique, i.e. having good emails separated from the rest of your mail. What are the pros and cons of both methods, and what can we do to eliminate the cons?

 

Email Filtering Done with the Help of Spam Blockers

According to Symantec’s Intelligence Data, about 8% of all mail was identified as spam in 2001. Email users were not overloaded with email then, and cleaning your Inbox from spam took only several minutes per day. Today spam rates are between 65% and 75% (depending on a season and special events), so removing spam by hand might take much more time.

Thanks to email spam filters, the process of email screening was simplified greatly. You could open your Inbox in the morning and see only a couple of spam messages in there; the rest of your messages would be legitimate emails. Email spam filtering may be based on sender email address, IP or domain blacklists, URL and attachment analysis, Bayesian spam filtering and other predefined rules. In most cases, you can even customize your spam filter to meet your requirements.

However the problem of email overload is not spam-related only. Even with all junk mail removed, you’ll still suffer the problem of an unmanaged Inbox. Emails from legitimate senders can be of different priority for you, so you need to know which ones are most important and which ones can be postponed.

Pros:

  • Spam filters save time that you could have wasted on removing spam from your Inbox.
  • The previously reported spam messages will no longer hit your Inbox.

Cons:

  • Thousands of spam emails may reach Inboxes before a spammer’s email address, IP or domain is blacklisted.
  • Spam filtering is machine-based so there is a room for mistakes called “false positives.”
  • Bayesian filters may be fooled by spammers, e.g. in a case of using large blocks of legitimate text.
  • A legitimate email sender may use potentially “suspicious” words without knowing it and trigger a spam filter.

 

Email Prioritization: Manual and Automatic

Initially people did email triage by hand and this tedious task consumed a great amount of time. One had to look through all emails, separate the good from the bad, and then categorize the “good” messages by priority. These could be emails that needed to be answered right away, messages to be forwarded, tasks to be delegated or just information which could be saved for future reference and did not require immediate action.

Later, email users discovered the power of email rules. You would simply tell your email client what to do with the emails which come from a particular sender, have particular words in a subject line or have other specific features which might help you differentiate these emails from the others. Email rules were definitely a godsend for many email users who had been drowning in email.

However email rules can’t help you much if you expect an important email but know nothing about his/her email address, the words which might be used in the email, etc. You’ll have to look through all emails, including the Spam box, every 15 minutes or so – in order to avoid missing that important email.

Pros:

  • After emails are prioritized, you can focus your attention on important emails first.
  • Further emails from important senders will always hit your Inbox if you apply email rules.

Cons:

  • It takes time to look through all emails if you choose to prioritize them by hand.
  • Even if you do automate the process of email prioritization, it takes time to create email rules.
  • Email rules will not always work well for emails from unknown email senders.

 

A Formula for Effective Email Management

As you see, using a spam filter is not enough to have an organized Inbox every morning. You’ll still have to sort the remaining messages by priority, as some emails should be replied to urgently while some can be postponed or archived. This takes time.

Email prioritization alone is not the ultimate solution to prevent email overload either. In this case you’ll have to sort ALL messages, including spam. And spam emails can make up 75%+ of your Inbox!

 

Taking all this into account, here is the best formula of the effective email management:
Effective Email Management = A Good Email Filter + Intelligent Email Prioritization

 

Let’s put this principle to work: you should not give up using a spam filter, plus you need an intelligent solution to automate email prioritization tasks.

This is where the EmailTray email client will fit your needs. It will aggregate junk mail from the Spam folders of all your tracked email accounts and double-check if any important messages have been mistakenly trapped by a spam filter of your Mail Service Provider. Besides, EmailTray will categorize the rest of the messages under the “Top priority”, “Low priority” and “No priority” tabs. All you’ll have to do is concentrate on the top priority messages first; then attend emails under the “No priority” tab. Then, if you have some spare time, you may want to look through the “Low priority” messages where you may wish to take the time to unsubscribe from the newsletters and notifications you’ll find there or mark certain senders as spammers so their future emails fall under the spam tab. By the way, once per day you can delete all the spam under the unified “Spam” tab which will ensure that all your spam boxes inside all your Webmail accounts are cleared.

You can always download EmailTray for Windows or get the EmailTray email app for your Android device, and enjoy an organized Inbox!

25 Proven Techniques to Stop Junk Mail and Correct Spam Filter Mistakes

stop junk mail

In the previous post dedicated to the email spam statistics for August 2012, we have highlighted the 7 most important tips to stop junk mail. This list of spam prevention techniques definitely has to be extended and requires a dedicated blog post, so here we go!

 

Be careful with the email addresses that you use

1. Do not use your primary email addresses when registering online. If you don’t want to have your corporate or private email address jammed with spam – do not use them when registering for online promotions, contests, giveaways, download sites, etc.

2. Use a “disposable” email address for online registrations and one-time downloads. You can always create a new email account using free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail. You don’t even need to waste time checking this email account for new messages, since you only provide the address to websites and forums as a log-in, and not to your friends or work contacts. If you are your own IT administrator, you can ask your email provider for a catchall service and then, when you signup anywhere, you can describe where you’re signing up before the  @ sign with your domain name following (example: forumname@yourdomain.com). With this method, you can just block all emails to that email address if you start getting spam for it.

3. Do not post your email address in public profiles visible by everyone. Keep from posting your email address on forums, blogs and public profiles. To automate the process, spammers use automatic programs to harvest emails, so you provide them with easy food when posting your email here and there.

If you really need to post your address, disguise it from the robots. You can choose to substitute some characters and separate them by brackets – so that your email address no longer looks like one. For example, if your email is “jack.rabbit@example.com”, write it out as “jack.rabbit [at] example [dot] com”.

4. Make your email address hard to guess. Some spam-sending programs coin email addresses using a combination of the randomly-used names and last names, and then send spam to the list of the newly created email addresses. If you don’t want to be included in such a list by accident, make sure to create an email address that is unique.

5. Be very attentive when filling out online forms. See if there are any boxes like “Send a catalogue”, “Receive monthly updates” or “Get free offers” which will often be checked by default. These check boxes are usually small or hidden. Also, read the privacy policy of the services you sign up for; you might unknowingly consent to spam being sent to you.

 

Remember the three NO’s: no opening, no clicking and no responding

6. Keep away from opening spam messages. When you open an email with graphics rendering turned on, the sender might receive an email delivery receipt which lets them know that your email address is valid. If you were using EmailTray, described below, spam messages would appear in the lower priority Inboxes where graphics rendering is automatically shut off.

7. Do not follow the links in a spam email. Such links might include malware which might result in identity theft. Even if you believe an email is legit, hover over the link with your cursor first to verify that the URL you’re being sent to is also legit.

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3 Secrets Of The Real Email Jedi

Today we have a short but valuable list of advice. Follow them and you will email like a real Jedi and you will stop wasting time digging into tons of emails flooding your inbox.

  1. Be quick. Distant communication makes it impossible to understand your intonation or your facial expression. The only way to show your competence and expertise is to answer quickly and professionally. Make it your rule and answer all important business emails as fast as possible.

    The EmailTray email client for Windows and Android smartphones will keep all important emails front and center in your life, while relegating unimportant emails like newsletters to secondary and tertiary inboxes. EmailTray uses special smart algorithm to understand the importance of the messages in your inbox and to sort them to the special Top Priority, Low Priority, and No Priority folders. When you have your messages sorted according to their importance you won’t need to waste time separating the most important messages from the routine ones. The EmailTray email client for Windows and Androids does this for you.

  2. Be concise. Remember that nowadays everybody has their inboxes full of new messages. Value the time of your recipients and make your replies as short as possible. Modern email etiquette allows skipping the amenities and moving to the point immediately.

    This rule is also true for the signature you add to your emails. Keep the signature in your replies and forwards short enough to make it possible to recognize you. Use the EmailTray email client to automatically add your full signature to your new email messages and a shortened one to the replies and forwards. Your recipients will thank you for this.

  3. Be always available. A lot of email messages are time sensitive. A lot of email messages lose their actuality if not read in time. Use your mobile device to be always available via email.

    Install the EmailTray email client app for Android on your Android-based device and get all the benefits of the smartest desktop email client in your pocket. The EmailTray email client will immediately notify you about new important messages and rescue good emails caught by the spam filter by a mistake. EmailTray uses the Push command that lets you get new emails immediately and enables you to apply the first rule of the real email Jedi without interrupting your other activities.

10 Tips To Make Your Email Signature Beautiful And Effective

email signature

It’s easy to give advice on how to make your signatures effective and beautiful (and below you will find our tips). But anyone who has tried to use automatic signatures in Outlook or Gmail knows it’s rather hard to implement. Keeping this in mind, the EmailTray development division has created a smart email client for Windows and Android that is great in email sorting and notifying, protects you from spam and phishing, and also lets you use automated signatures easily. Use the EmailTray email client for Windows to create and use different signatures for your replies and forwarded emails as well as for newly composed emails. EmailTray will add them automatically.

  1. The first advice is to use different signatures for newly composed letters and for replies and forwarded emails. It’s better to keep your signature as short as possible: two or three lines with a maximum of 80 characters per line (most email clients have a maximum width of 80 characters, so limit the length to avoid unsightly wrapping). Use the full signature for a new message to tell your recipient who you are, and a short one with your replies.
  2. Make sure to include your name, your company, your position and how to get in touch with you.
  3. Add personal Skype, IM, home phone, etc. ONLY if you really want to be contacted via them. Do include relevant corporate Twitter, Facebook and Google+ profile URLs.
  4. Never use random quotes in your business emails. They may be good and funny for your friends and family, but you risk offending business associates with whom you don’t have a personal relationship.
  5. Carefully use logos or other images. If you do use one, make it small and make it fit in aesthetically with the rest of the signature. Remember that most email clients store images as attachments or block them by default so think twice about whether you really need any.
  6. With certain types of recipients, be careful of sending messages with HTML formatting because you’ll likely have problems with images and divider lines when the message is rendered in their email clients. With such people, it’s better to keep your signature as plain text.
  7. Separate your signature from the message body with a line of —–, ======, or _______ or just a few spaces. This will visually separate your signature from your email.
  8. Never include a legal disclaimer unless you are required to do so. If you do, keep it as short as possible.
  9. Avoid including a line that your message was checked for viruses.
  10. Remember that not every email user knows what a vCard is, so use one in your signature only if you tend to mail IT professionals. Recommend to your friends and colleagues that they use the EmailTray email client so they will always have a senders’ photo and info without having to also send a vCard.

_______
Aliona Vozna, the EmailTray Evangelist
www.emailtray.com

Beware: Attachments May Ruin Your Email Delivery Expectations

email-attachment-size-restrictions

According to the Global Email Deliverability Benchmark report issued by Return Path in March 2012, worldwide inbox placement rates declined sharply in the second half of 2011 to a record low of 76.5% globally, compared to 81% in the first half of 2011. This means a lot more email has been heading to the spam box.

Nowadays it’s not enough to create a marketing message, embed pictures and blast this to a large email list. Email deliverability is the issue that bothers marketers a lot. ISPs and Webmail providers, both on the sender side and the recipient side, may block your message for many reasons; and one of them is email attachment size and format.

 

Email Attachment Size Restrictions

In a race to get the most devoted users, four major Webmail providers (Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and AOL Mail) currently have the same restriction regarding the total size of a sent or received message. You can send or receive messages of up to 25 MB each for free.

Some Webmail providers and commercial Email Service Providers will allow you to send larger email messages. However there is no guarantee that the recipient who uses a different Email Service Provider will be able to receive your lengthy message. The attachment size limit of the person receiving the file does matter; if your file is over their limit for receiving, the email will be rejected.

Gmail
With Gmail, you can send and receive messages up to 25 MB in size. However it’s not a good idea to send larger attachments to people who might be using the other email services with smaller attachment limits. The good news is that Google offers Google Drive cloud storage service, which adds an extra 5MB of storage to your Gmail account.

Windows Live Hotmail
Windows Live Hotmail has a restriction of 25 MB per email message as well. There is a workaround however. You can take advantage of the Microsoft’s SkyDrive service, an online cloud storage service that is available to everyone with a Windows Live Account. You can upload large files (up to 7 GB for free) to SkyDrive and share them with your contacts.

Yahoo! Mail
With your Yahoo! Mail account, you can send and receive emails up to 25 MB.

AOL Mail
AOL Mail restricts messages to no larger than 25 MB.

Mail.com
With the emailing service offered by Mail.com, you can send attachments of up to 50 MB.

GMX.com
With GMX Mail, you can send attachments of up to 50 MB as well. Besides, GMX File Storage offers you another 2 GB of space for your documents, images and media to share with your friends and family.

As for the Commercial Email Service Providers, the limits that the recipient’s server has on attachment size may vary from email service provider to email service provider.

Note: The total email size includes the message text, headers, embedded images and attachments. That means that you must take into consideration the total size of the message, not the attachments only. If, for example, you are including a high number of embedded images with your email message, then your attachment size is going to be restricted by the size of the message including the embedded images.

 

Restricted Attachment File Extensions

Sending the following file types is OK with most of the Webmail providers: word processor or spreadsheet documents, audio files, image files (.bmp, .jpg, .gif, etc.), and web pages saved as HTML files.

It is definitely not a good idea to attach executable files to your email messages, as they might be blocked by email providers or the antivirus software installed on your recipients’ computer.

Gmail will not let you send or receive executable files (such as files ending in .exe). In addition, Gmail does not allow you to send or receive files that are corrupted. Gmail won’t accept these types of files even if they are sent in a zipped (.zip, .tar, .tgz, .taz, .z, .gz, .rar) format. If this type of message is sent to your Gmail address, it will be bounced back to the sender automatically.

With Yahoo! Mail, you can send all types of files as attachments, including word processor or spreadsheet documents, audio files, image files (such as .bmp, .jpg, .gif), and more. There is no restriction openly stated by Yahoo!, however they kindly ask you to be particularly cautious about executable files, which end with these extensions: .exe, .com, .vbs, .lnk, .pif, .scr, .bat.

Just like with the Gmail Webmail service provider, Windows Live Hotmail will block any email message including executable files.

AOL Mail is quite liberal with its users as far as it concerns email attachment extensions. If the attachments are of the file types .exe, .scr, .com, .msi, .bat, .pif , .vbs, .cpl, or .cmd, AOL Help advises you to compress them before sending. To do this, you can use a third-party compression program such as WinZip.

 

Email Etiquette for Attachment Sending

  • Delete attachments from forwarded messages when you only want to share the text. Forwarding attachments for no reason is not polite.
  • Ask before sending. It is not OK to include a spreadsheet, a document or a presentation file without the recipient’s consent, especially if this is the first email message you ever send to a person. You can only send attachments without preliminary asking when a sender knows you well enough or expects attachments from you.
  • Do not send files larger than 25 MB. If the file that you’re trying to transfer exceeds 25 MB, you’ll need to either compress the file or split it into smaller parts. Another option is to share this file using a cloud storage service, e.g. Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, etc.
  • Scan the file you are going to send for viruses. Sending an infected message to a customer or business partner may ruin your relationship once and for all. Always have your Anti-Virus software running, and make it a rule to scan outgoing messages for viruses.
  • Do not send attachments after business hours. The chances are that the recipient will be checking mail via a smart phone. Downloading and viewing this attachment might be a pain.

For more tips on safe email sending etiquette, read our post about business email etiquette rules.

The EmailTray Email Client Changes Your Email Deliverability Statistics

 

Approximately a quarter of all emails doesn’t reach the recipients’ inboxes, – reports IBM Email Deliverability Research.

They are buried forever in the Spam folder just because your spam filter was not smart enough. And what if there were really important ones? That is bad from both angles: to be a sender whose email left without an answer forever and to be a receiver who missed an important message because of a spam-filter’s mistake.

When you use the EmailTray email client there is much, much less danger of having valuable emails killed like spam. That is because the EmailTray email client uses an approach absolutely different from the usual anti-spam filters.

The EmailTray email client uses its smart algorithm to analyze your inbox and pick out the important emails which are then placed in the Top and Low Priority folders. Besides sorting your inbox according to each sender’s priority, EmailTray analyzes your Spam folder and rescues good emails that were trapped there by a spam-filter’s mistake. You simultaneously solve email overload without overdoing it.

So using the EmailTray email client you may forget the statistics from IBM and be absolutely sure that all necessary emails are in your Inbox carefully sorted by importance.

Mobile email usage is growing. 27% of all emails were opened on mobile devices during the second half of 2011, up from 20% during the first half of 2011, – says Mobile Email Opens Report.

Understanding that mobile devices are getting more and more popular for checking email, our developer team does everything possible to make emailing on your Android-based devices as pleasant as on your PC.

The EmailTray email app for Android-based devices should be used with the same EmailTray account as the one on your PC.

With EmailTray for Android, you get an email app that makes sure you are always notified about important emails and never miss anything important. The second thing about EmailTray is that the app checks your Spam folder and rescues all valuable emails. Also the EmailTray for Android email client app is great for sharing photos, ringtones, links and other content by email with one click. Of course, there are more great features you will get with the EmailTray for Android. Try it to make sure that the EmailTray for Android is, for you, the best email app available for the Android-based devices.

Using the EmailTray email client for Windows and the EmailTray for Android app you will create new emailing statistics – the statistics of those who enjoy emailing most of the time.

5 Simple Rules that Can Protect You from Cyber Crimes

Nowadays 68% of all emails are spam. 1 in 274 emails is blocked as malicious. The cumulative number of phishing attacks recorded through 2011 was 279,580, that’s a 37% increase from 2010.

Phishing attacks saturated the globe more heavily, with brands targeted from 31 different countries and phishing emails communicated in 16 different languages – reaching an even more diverse crowd of Internet users.

Cyber criminals become more and more diligent every day and the chance of being attacked with a phishing email increases every moment.

How to protect your personal data from cyber crimes?

1. Fight spam. Be especially cautious of emails that come from unknown senders and ask you to confirm personal or financial information over the internet.

Fortunately, the EmailTray email client, for PCs and Android smartphones, is great at fighting spam and knows how to recognize your senders while even checking the authentication of the servers used by major senders like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and PayPal. EmailTray uses a special algorithm to detect the most important emails and notify you about them. In addition, you may see a sender’s photo in the sender’s panel to better know who is writing to you.

2. Never use the links in an email, instant message, or chat to get to any web page if you suspect the message might not be authentic or you don’t know the sender or user’s handle. Even if you believe a sender to be legitimate, at least be sure to hover over the link before clicking on it in order to see what the intended URL actually is.

The EmailTray email client for PCs and Androids cares for your online safety and will mark suspicious emails with a special warning. This helps you not to mistake a phishing email with a legitimate one. Be really careful with such marked emails.

3. Do not download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders. It is best to open attachments only when you are expecting them and know what they contain, even if you know the sender.

4. Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal financial information. Phishing websites often copy the entire look of a legitimate web site, making it appear authentic. To be safe, call the legitimate enterprise first to see if they really sent that email to you. After all, businesses should not request that personal information be sent via email.

Note that the EmailTray email client for PCs will show the official icons for  known senders like PayPal, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. By the way, PayPal and eBay are reported to be the most highly targeted site for phishing scams, according to security experts.

5. Check your online accounts and bank statements regularly to ensure that no unauthorized transactions have been made.

If you are concerned about your online security and personal data, if you do not want to become a phishing scam victim, download and install the EmailTray email client for PCs and Androids – a smart email client that solves the problem of spam and phishing.

5 Ways to Make Email Work for You: Tips for Email RECIPIENTS

email overload

In the previous post named 5 Ways to Make Email Work for You: Tips for Email SENDERS, we shared five email productivity and email deliverability tips for email senders. The next post of this series is meant for email recipients.
 

1. Automate send/receive from all your accounts

If you own several email addresses, it is wise to save time that you might have spent on checking each email account separately, including logging on to various Webmail services using your browser. Use one hub to track all email accounts via POP3 or IMAP. This can be a dedicated Gmail account or your favorite email client software.

Popular email clients include: Mozilla Thunderbird, MS Outlook, Windows Live Mail, EmailTray, IncrediMail, The Bat!, Pegasus Mail, Opera Mail. Some of them offer a range of useful tools for office task management, some add fancy pictures to your email signatures and some email clients offer email filtering and email sorting features.

The great news is that you can take advantage of the EmailTray email sorting features and use it absolutely free of charge. By the way, EmailTray, a young yet powerful email client, was ranked #3 by the About.com readers as one of the best Windows email programs in 2012:

Best Windows Email Program 2012 – The About.com 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.

 

2. Attend to emails in priority order

Do you read and respond to emails according to the arrival time criteria (the oldest are attended to first, then come the rest of emails)? While you are looking through non-urgent emails like email subscriptions, payment receipts from e-stores and social network notifications, some really IMPORTANT emails might require immediate action!

In order to attend to emails in priority order, you most probably have to spend time on analyzing emails by importance and sorting them. The good news is that the EmailTray email client already has a built-in mechanism for email sorting based on your emailing habits, browsing history and privacy-oriented community intelligence.  With EmailTray, you won’t need to waste time on looking through all emails, deleting junk mail, archiving unimportant mail and singling out good mail. You’ll be able to focus on important emails residing under the “Top priority” and “Low priority” tabs of the EmailTray email client.

 

3. Do not respond to emails that are not addressed personally to you

Remember that it is not that necessary to reply to the emails which have a lengthy list of recipients in the “To:” or “CC:” fields. Some people have a nasty habit of sharing industry news, funny facts and other non-urgent stuff via email. They take advantage of the “send to all” or “reply to all” options and sometimes misuse them.

Email was not initially meant for broadcasting – there are a number of other useful tools for that such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other services. So treat those “broadcast emails” the way they are meant to be treated – read them when you have some spare time and don’t waste your time responding to them personally. To further save your time, you may wish to politely ask the sender if it’s possible to just follow their Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account and not receive emails.

 

4. Redirect your email communications to the other interaction channels

When appropriate, do your best to streamline your email communications to the other interaction channels according to your needs and situation. In case a matter is urgent and would definitely require several back-and-forth emails with questions and answers – think about dialing the sender and discussing things via phone. For efficient task management, you’d better use a good task management system. For group discussion, start a forum topic, post the info in a social network group or go for a chat room.

Learn more about different communication tools, their purposes, pros and cons from our infographic:

Communication Channels: Facts and Figures, Pros and Cons.

 

5. Keep your answers short

In the era of mobile devices, it is quite acceptable to fit your reply into one short sentence instead of a lengthy message.  Some people travel a lot and use their mobile phones to check mail most of the time, so you don’t take offence with them when they reply briefly, right?

By making your replies laconic, you actually save your time and the time of your recipients, so never hesitate to make your answer short whenever possible.

5 Ways to Make Email Work For You: Tips for Email SENDERS

send email

1. Use EMAIL only when it works better than any other communication channel

Email is a great time-saver when it comes to contacting a person who is located far away from you. You can always fit emailing into your work schedule, as you can send and read emails whenever you have some spare time. Email is good to share links and business information, but it is not good enough to build partnerships, especially at the last stage before signing agreements – a personal meeting or video phone call is necessary for this. Ask yourself simple questions to understand whether email will fit your needs in your situation.

Want to get acquainted with your future partner, and plan to discuss important things, face to face? –> Arrange a meeting.
Need to share urgent news or resolve an urgent matter? –> Use a phone call.
Need technical support on the software issue? –> Use email.
Plan on discussing an upcoming event with your friends? –> Use a chat room.
Benchmarking the steps taken on a large project with your colleagues? –> Use wiki.
Want to set and track tasks on a large project? –> Use a task management system.

 

2. Follow business email etiquette rules when composing a new message

Do you use short and precise email subject lines – to focus the reader attention on what’s important? Do you provide an email signature with your contact details? Do you use the “CC” and the “Reply to All” option with caution?

These and other rules were created to increase email productivity for you and your email recipients. Using business email etiquette rules is a matter of politeness and a sign of respect towards an email recipient, so make sure to follow these rules.

 

3. Comply with the CAN-SPAM rules if you send bulk mail

To protect the privacy of email recipients, the US Federal Trade Commission issued the CAN-SPAM Act which covers numerous examples of fraudulent or inappropriate use of email as a means of communication.

The following principles are outlined in this act:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  • Identify the message as an ad.
  • Tell recipients where you’re located.
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.

The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business
http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

 

4. Follow the email sender guidelines posted by the most popular Webmail providers

If you are an authorized email sender, Gmail, Hotmail and other Webmail providers make it easier for you to reach your customers Inbox by providing you with email sender guidelines. The most obvious things for senders to follow are offering an opt-in feature and easy unsubscribe, using sender authentication and managing the reputation of your outbound IPs. Use the links below to refer to the email sender guidelines of the popular Webmail providers:

Email sending policies, practices, and guidelines from Microsoft
http://mail.live.com/mail/policies.aspx

Improving E-mail Deliverability into Windows Live Hotmail, PDF
http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/3/3/e3397e7c-17a6-497d-9693-78f80be272fb/enhance_deliver.pdf

Best practices for bulk mail senders and postmasters when sending to Yahoo! Mail
http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?locale=en_US&y=PROD_MAIL&page=content&id=SLN3435

Bulk Senders Guidelines from Gmail
https://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81126

Bulk Sender Best Practices from AOL
http://postmaster.aol.com/Postmaster.Guidelines.php

Technical and Policy Requirements for Sending Email to AOL
http://postmaster.aol.com/Postmaster.Tech.php

 

5. Ensure that your email address is on the whitelists of your recipients

If you don’t want your messages to get blocked by spam filters and the email service providers of your recipients, have your most important sending email addresses whitelisted. You can also publish information on your site asking your subscribers to add your email address to their list of trusted contacts.

Hope these pieces of advice and reference links help you build your email campaigns efficiently and avoid email deliverability issues. Email CAN be a great helper unless you misuse it :)